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Craving personal connection to actual people? Missing in-person contact with your clergy and community? Consider “Drive Thru Judaism” as an antidote to quarantined community.
Jews often say: "The holidays are late this year" or "The holidays are early this year." In fact, the holidays never are early or late; they are always on time, according to the Jewish calendar.
By Richard Rosenthal Partaking in annual traditions are what highlight family values to me. For example, watching the annual Thanksgiving Day Parade together, using the same afikoman cover year after year, and preparing a special meal for Rosh HaShanah are some special traditions that come to mind. Along that continuum, there is a tradition that blossomed over 25 years ago at URJ Camp Coleman in the North Georgia Mountains called Camp Jenny. This tradition happens every year, when camp organizers come together with 125 NFTYites to share their values, and to offer their love, leadership, and guidance to approximately 150 under-privileged children who engage in camp activities over Memorial Day weekend.
NEW YORK, NOVEMBER 21, 2012 -- As Rabbi Rick Jacobs, President of the Union for Reform Judaism, arrives in Israel as part of a solidarity mission during this time of crisis in the Middle East, today's bus bombing in Tel Aviv strains efforts to achieve a lasting resolution to the escalating v
By Ilene Weismehl For as long as I can remember, it was a given that my brother and I would go to Olin Sang Ruby Union Institute, commonly known as OSRUI (pronounced Os-roo-ee), and even more commonly known as Oconomowoc (the camp's Wisconsin town name). Although none of the above-mentioned names hint at the Debbie Friedman prayers or Hebrew immersion programs or after-meal songs, I always had a notion of what the names might hold (courtesy of my parents' stories of their own time at Union Institute in the fifties) and I couldn't wait to claim it. Forty years later, many of my camp memories have grown as faded as the photo below. But the memory of Shabbat at camp remains vivid! On Shabbat, all camp activities ended early so we had time to shower off the weekday grime of lake and sweat and craft projects. We donned our nice Shabbat clothes and shoes. Then, clean and shiny, and a bit shy for our newly-scrubbed appearance, the girls and boys would meet just outside the dining hall for Kabbalat Shabbat.
When I was growing up, I never met any rabbis other than my congregation’s rabbi. Dr. Renov (we never called him ‘rabbi’) was a scholar. Our congregation, Temple Judea, was small and he served there part-time. Dr. Renov also taught college and perhaps the academic arena was his first love. While he was a nice man, Dr. Renov did not exactly have a way with children or teens. He was formal and reserved. Our confirmation class was made up of three boys. On Sunday mornings, we would meet with Dr. Renov in his small overheated office. I don’t remember what we studied in his class, but I do remember the musty smell of the room, the hiss of the radiator, and struggling to stay awake.
The Journal of Youth Engagement is an online forum of ideas and dialogue for those committed to engaging youth in vibrant Jewish life and living. Join the discussion and become a contributor. By Jen Whitman The congregation I work for has been hosting the JOSTY Shul In, a region-wide 7th and 8th grade junior youth group event, longer than I have been alive. After the event last year, I was disappointed to hear from some of my own students that they spent most of the shul in feeling uncomfortable, overwhelmed and bored, or worse - that they never wanted to be at a NFTY event again. And this was coming from the kids who already knew where the bathroom was when they got to the event.